Cure: Chronic Diseases


Question: How can we help people prevent, detect and manage chronic diseases, especially in resources-limited settings? 
Submit Solutions:
Rules: All entrants must agree to the Challenge Rules and Terms of Use
Deadline: Friday, Jan 20, 2017 at 16:59:00 PM Eastern Standard Time
Judging Criteria & Prizes: See below.



We are facing a chronic disease crisis. Worldwide, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are responsible for 27 million deaths annually, over 75% of which occur in low- and middle-income countries. In addition to ending millions of lives, chronic diseases have major economic costs: estimates suggest they will result in tens of trillions of dollars in lost global economic output between 2011 and 2030, and in the U.S. alone, these diseases account for over $600 billion in medical costs each year

Key Issues


Reversing some of these trends will require improved approaches to both disease prevention and management. In developing countries, the aforementioned chronic diseases are particularly underfunded, despite their high incidence and cost.

Promising opportunities exist to help the millions of patients who are most at risk because of genetic predisposition or risky behavior. Examples include finding ways to adapt successful diabetes prevention strategies to fit different dietary and cultural contexts; innovating new technologies to detect and monitor heart disease risk in rural communities; and increasing access to low-cost, easily deployable tools for stroke awareness among illiterate populations. Solutions might include employing behavioral economics and so-called “nudges” at points-of-purchase to help consumers improve their health through better purchasing behavior; embedding obesity screening and treatment in routine community health care models; and applying innovative technologies to help patients manage health risk behaviors such as tobacco use, lack of exercise, poor nutrition, and drinking too much alcohol[1]. Globally, these examples illustrate just some of the many opportunities to help both caregivers and patients more effectively and efficiently prevent, detect, and manage chronic diseases.

The Solve community aims to help fill some of the acute gaps in thinking, implementation, and discovery which exist in the effort to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. To jumpstart thinking, application, and innovation to mitigate chronic disease cost, morbidity, and mortality, the Solve community can:


Judging Criteria


Solve judges will consider a few key dimensions as the evaluate a heterogeneous group of proposals submitted for each challenge. In addition to the criteria outlined below, judges will evaluate how proposals are uniquely appropriate for the Solve community by considering how they integrate technology, rely on cross-sector partnerships, and/or utilize the MIT community.


Judges will evaluate each proposal for their innovation, discovery, and originality to prioritize the most additive solutions, rather than rewarding traditional thinking or encyclopedic knowledge.

1 - Concept exists - no unique application

2 - Concept partially exists - some unique application

3 - Concept partially exists - unusual or imaginative application

4 - Entirely novel concept - challenges existing paradigm


Judges will evaluate each proposal’s economic, social, political, legal, and technical feasibility to ensure winning solutions are implementable.

1 - Infeasible economically, socially, politically, legally, or technically; Potential concerns and barriers not addressed

2 - Questionably feasible economically, socially, politically, legally, or technically; Potential concerns and barriers insufficiently addressed

3 - Likely feasible economically, socially, politically, legally, and technically; Potential concerns and barriers partially addressed

4 - Feasible economically, socially, politically, legally, or technically; Potential concerns and barriers fully addressed


Judges will evaluate each proposal’s projected impact to identify which solution best meets the stated goals and objectives of each challenge. For example, for Learn challenges, impact may be evaluated based on the projected number of children reading at grade level.

NOTE: Proposals should clearly define both their projected impact and their monitoring and evaluation metrics.

1 - Impact and benefits unclear

2 - Limited benefits; minimal impact

3 - Modest benefits; moderate impact

4 - Large-scale benefits; high-impact  


Judges will evaluate the quality of presentations, including the quality of writing, use of graphics and visual elements, and any inclusion of compelling artistic representations. Proposals that are well-presented will be favored.

1 - Unclear; lacks persuasiveness and visual appeal

2 - Somewhat clear, persuasive, and visually appealing

3 - Clear, persuasive, and visually appealing

4 - Highest-quality; very clear, persuasive, and visually appealing 


Friday, Jan 20, 2017 at 16:59:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

What happens if your solution is selected?


After the judges’ evaluation, selected solutions will be invited to pitch at Solve at United Nations on March 7, 2017. Live in front of judges, the selected participants will have the opportunity to pitch their idea to a live audience composed of cross-sector leaders. The best solutions will be selected as Solvers and will receive support from the Solve community and be invited to and featured prominently at Solve at MIT in May 2017.

Solver Support - March – May 2017
Dedicated Solve staff will work with Solvers to:

Solvers at Solve at MIT - May 2017
Solve at MIT is the annual flagship 300+ person event for Solve, bringing together the Solvers and leaders from the private, public, non-profit and academic sectors. Solvers will present their solutions and announce partnerships and other progress since their initial pitch to Solve at MIT participants.

Solvers and their solutions will be featured on stage, in online and written materials, and through dedicated challenge workshops. Further, Solve staff will continue supporting Solvers on-site through brokered introductions. The objective remains to attract partnerships with other Solve community members that make Solvers’s solutions a reality.